Need Your Help Selecting a Laptop

This is my first post on the forums. I need to get a laptop for university in a few months. I've been looking at 15.4" laptops, around $1000-1400. Laptops that I'm considering, based on some reviews I've read, are:

Asus M51Sn-B1 (Like $1050 almost everywhere + S&H)
Dell XPS M1530 (works out to $1300 with customization + S&H, and still only an 8400M GS)
Acer Aspire 5290- (5290-XXXX, lots of different versions, differently priced)
Toshiba Satego X200 (This seems to have disappeared from Toshiba's site. I can't find it even in their discontinued section.)
Lenovo Thinkpad T61p (works out to $1300 with customization + S&H)

At first I was all for the Asus M51Sn, but reviews say that the worksmanship is bad, the touch pad is crap, and the battery life isn't too good. Plus for the same price, the Acer Aspire 5290-6574 gives you a much stronger processor, although the Asus' 9500M GS is slightly better than the Acer's 8600M GT.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Acer Aspire 5290-6574, specifications here:

And a store nearby is selling it for $1050, which seems really cheap. But the thing with the Acer is that it heats up a bit, and apparently the Acer laptops' screens are no good(???). And also the resolution for the Aspire and the Acer is only WXGA 1280x800.

Can anyone suggest a good laptop? I would like:

- 15.4" screen (WXGA+ 1440x900 resolution, trying to avoid WXGA 1280x800)
- Geforce 8600M GT (equivalent or better)
- Intel T8100 2.1 GHZ dual-core (equivalent or better)
- $1000 - $1400 (really can't go past $1400)

Any suggestions are appreciated. I don't know much about desktops, and even less about laptops.

Thanks a lot.
8 answers Last reply
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  1. hey man, im doing the same thing pretty much...lookin for a new laptop for university. my requirements are a little more than yours but it sounds like you want a computer that is gonna do your basic stuff really well, with a good GPU. right now im looking at the dell studio line for laptops, theyre real cheap with a nice design. only setback is the graphics card which isnt too good right now, ATI Radeon Mobility HD 3450, i believe. you can customize it real nice and screen res is pretty good as well. wait a little bit though, see if there are any problems with it. another thought would be the lenovo thinkpad. they are great great great computers they just dont have a nice design to them. if you can get past the design i think you'd be really happy with a lenovo
  2. I don't care about the design just as long is it's fine to type on it. The HD 3450 isn't too great I agree. It's somewhat weaker than the 8600M GS which is somewhat weaker than the 8600M GT.

    It's so difficult to decide. I was hoping some people would provide their personal opinions for some of the laptops I listed. I don't want to be totally unhappy with my choice.
  3. I would probably go with the Dell XPS, and if you can stretch your budget an extra $100, you can add the 8600 to it instead of the 8400. I haven't had any experience with that one, but I own an XPS M1710, and the build quality is definitely nice with the XPS series. They also have their own tech support line in the US exclusively for XPS owners, which has almost no waiting time compared to the normal one, and the guys on the other end actually know what the heck they are talking about. That alone makes it worth a bit extra IMO.
  4. The Dell laptops are so customizable. I've built one with everything I want on their website (especially the WXGA+ resolution on the 15.4" laptops). But it is pricey. I'm going to see if any Dell coupons or deals come along, because they often do. Then I'll most likely go for the XPS.

    Otherwise, I don't know. Thanks for the input cjl.
  5. The Sager NP2092 would be a good choice as well. There is a $300 off special if you buy a specific config which is actually quite nice T9300, 4gb of RAM, screen up to WSXGA, 8600mGT, etc...
  6. +1 Vote for SAGER NP2092

    Also i say order form rather than the SAGER site because xoticpc prices are lower
  7. I'm often asked about getting this as part of a laptop on websites:

    Intel 1GB TurboMemory Module

    Is it worth it for $35? Is it worth it at all? I remember reading somewhere that the Intel Turbo memory did pretty much nothing...
  8. You read right :) its not worth @ all
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